Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Class Book Exchange

Does your class exchange gifts at the holidays? The holidays are a great time of year to host a Class Book Exchange!
Quickly after Thanksgiving in the classroom, we send home a request for each student to bring a book in to exchange for our class book exchange.

Our guidelines for books are clear and we give plenty of time for families to find and wrap their books. We always have a few extra books on hand for any student who may not be able to provide their own. We allow them to choose the one they want to give and help them wrap it up.
It’s exciting for the kids and easy on the teacher! We simply send the family letter and a gift tag home a few weeks ahead of time, then wait for the wrapped books to be returned by the requested due date. 

Most years, we also attach a class book order form, such as Scholastic, to make it extra easy on families with a few added bonuses for our class through their orders too. :)

On the day of the exchange, we used to play musical chairs. We'd start the music, have them race around a circle of chairs, then mad dash sit down when the music stopped. Whomever didn't have a seat got to pick a book! It worked marvelously...Then, kids got smarter and our pick a book when you're out plan got unwrapped! 
 So nowadays, we read a story which we adapted for the classroom called “Holidays with the Right Family” to help facilitate the game. 

This freebie includes 2 story options for younger and older groups ~ 20 book passes or 40 passes. For our primary classroom, we find the 20 passes to be plenty! We also read the story a few times before the actual exchange day to familiarize the kids with the story as well as assess any students who are having difficulties with their directional vocabulary ~ right, left, and across. 
We’ve also included these direction signs, which are great visual reminders to place in the middle of the class circle, right in front of students around the circle, or up on the board during the exchange.  

Class Book Exchanges are great for the holidays, but can also be done anytime throughout the year as a class community builder, celebration of reading, or for no specific reason at all…No matter the occasion, Class Book Exchanges are loved by all!

Ready to host your own class book exchange? We've got everything you need in this free Class Book Exchange download. 

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